News Desk : dhakamirror.com
After a gap of 21 months, the National Road Safety Council (NRSC), the highest government body dealing with road safety issues, will convene tomorrow.
The National Road Safety Strategic Action Plan-2021-2024, the prohibition of motorcycles on busy highways, and the refusal to register vehicles that have been deemed abandoned are the three main topics that will be discussed at the meeting.
The NRSC hasn’t met since February of last year.
The National Road Safety Strategic Action Plan-2021-2024 has been stuck in approval limbo because of the long delay in holding the meeting, which has impacted decision making on important policies.
Since the previous plan’s term ended in 2020, the country is currently without a road safety action plan. Despite a sharp rise in road crashes and deaths, the country has no road safety plan.
There should be a meeting of the NRSC every six months, but it can be called whenever the head of the council sees fit. Obaidul Quader, Minister for Road Transport and Bridges, serves as the body’s ex-officio chairman.
An increase in traffic accidents and resulting deaths
A police report estimates that there were 5,472 traffic accidents in 2021, with 5,088 people killed. This number is up 30% from 2020.
Meanwhile, official data shows that 3,502 people were killed in 3,701 traffic accidents through August, a number that is significantly lower than the estimates put forth by various road safety organizations.
Because of this, the National Road Safety Strategic Action Plan-2021-2024 will be the main topic of discussion, according to organizers.
The BRTA headquarters in the Banani area of the capital city will serve as the venue for the meeting.
The rest of the NRSC meeting agenda
According to BRTA’s reports, there are two additional major topics on the agenda for the meeting after the strategic action plan.
They mentioned two plans: the elimination of motorcycles on highways and the cancellation of registration for abandoned vehicles.
Because of the dramatic increase in motorcycle-related traffic accidents over the past few years, discussions about prohibiting bikes from highways have been ongoing for the past few months.
In June 2022, a government investigation committee suggested that motorcycles be banned from national highways to cut down on the number of accidents.
The committee also noted that motorcycle accidents were a significant factor in the recent spike in fatalities during the Eid holiday, so the two-wheelers could be allowed only if national highways had separate service lanes.
Two recent meetings of a taskforce led by the home minister to reduce traffic accidents included discussion of the possibility of banning bikes.
But due to a lack of public transportation and heavy traffic in the capital city of Dhaka, bikes have become increasingly popular.
Bike riders argue that any decision to restrict their access to highways would be counterproductive.